A new Business ticket available for Vodacom customers

Vodacom has added a “business oriented” service to its existing product which is the Business Ticket data bundles. This service provides unlimited data for business applications. It particularly targets applications that are absolutely necessary in the daily management of one’s business activity. Thus, applications like emails, cloud storage, and navigation will be given business data bundle to make sure they stay connected 24/24 without fearing any eventual data shortage.

The aim of the Business Ticket is to insure a permanent online presence for businesses, and enable them to put their energy on developing their business. This implies that Vodacom customers will no more have to worry about how to keep their businesses applications always connected.

Fatima Hassim, the Managing Executive for Vodacom Business Enterprise Products and Services has elaborated more on how the Business Ticket will help their customers. She says: “Business ticket will help with customers who are looking to optimise their data usage for critical day-to-day work applications; stay connected without the fear of running out of data, and minimise the admin associated with purchasing additional bundles.”

She went further telling the motivation of Vodacom by introducing such a product: “The introduction of Business Ticket is in line with Vodacom’s strategy of digitally transforming businesses in the country and ensuring they are always connected and able to find, sell to and serve their customers.

Vodacom is committed to offering solutions that will offer additional value and support business growth and productivity. Simply put, we want to ensure that our business customers can seamlessly stay connected to some of their important emails, cloud storage and navigation services.”

Furthermore, she says ”Tools such as these are being offered by Vodacom to add value to customer businesses, ensuring we help them to stay connected and “always-on” on selected apps even when their data plans or normal data bundles have run out.

Connectivity is always at the heart of enabling communication and digital services that drive business continuity, performance and growth. The Business Ticket Family, is one of the products that we are launching to help businesses to stay connected”.

Customers can buy the new Business Ticket via a USSD, via the Vodacom Application or by adding it to their Vodacom monthly bill online.

 

 

Lyda Gbadji

In Ghana: AirtelTigo, Vodafone, MTN set to hike their tariffs from 1st November

Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has announced this 17th october that its members: Vodafone, AirtelTigo and MTN will increase tariffs from  1st November 2018.

This hike is due to the implementation of the new tax laws: VAT (ACT 970), NHIL (ACT 971) and GETFL (ACT 972) amended by the  govenrment during the  2018 mid-year budget review.

In fact, the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) and the Ghana Education Trust Fund Levy (GETFL) will be dissociated from the  TVA.

The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication stated that  MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo « who are responsible corporate entities, would comply fully with Ghana’s laws and ensure the distinction between VAT and the new levies emanating from their separate origins and basis in law ».

The two new levies are then the reason of the tariffs hike. As said in the statement: « … the incidence of the two new levies will, thus, be on consumers and will result in the increase of the cost of telecommunication services ».

« The objective was to “give effect to the conversion of NHIL and GETFL into levies that are not subject to the input-output mechanism, and delinking them from VAT by removing the option of input tax deductibility,” thereby giving both levies a unique and different legal identity and distinguished from VAT, » the statement signed by the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kenneth Ashigbey said

Customers should be expecting the change from the 1st of october. However, they will be notified by their service providers will there be any other change.

« Our members, who are responsible corporate entities, would comply fully with Ghana’s laws and ensure the distinction between VAT and the new levies emanating from their separate origins and basis in law. (…) .Customers of telecommunication services will be notified by their service providers prior to any changes being made and the expected changes will take effect on 1st of November 2018 ».we learn from the press release.

 

 

Lyda Gbadji

 

 

Tunisia is waiting for afric’Up

The republic of Tunisia is expecting the first edition of afric’Up which will take place on October 2nd and 3rd in Tunis. It will be according to the organizers « one of the biggest tech summit ». From 2nd to 3rd October, nearly 80 African and international speakers are invited (CEO, investors, mentors, experts, institutional, confirmed startups). Meanwhile, 112 African and international startups will present their solutions and innovations, more than 20 African countries are represented and more than 1000 participants.
The Central Africa Backbone project continues in Gabon

In the framework of the Central African Backbone (CAB) project launched in April 2007 during the summit in Ndjamena (chad), Guy Bertrand Mapangou, the minister of Communication and Digital economy has launched the fiber optic interconnection activities this 21st september 2018.

The connection of the fiber optic backbones will be between Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. One should note that the first phase of the CAB which was completed in April 2018 focused on the interconnection of the fiber-optic backbones between Gabon and Congo.

Moreover Fiber-optic cables provide high performance data networking and a much better way of communicating with others than Copper. Indeed the aim of the CAB project launched by the countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community is to enhance the capacity of the digital link among the eleven CEMAC countries.

Hopefully that the project will continue till it covers all the other countries involved( Central African Republic, Chad, São Tomé and Príncipe…). This launch comes after the closure last April of the fiber optic link of Gabon with neighboring Congo. People living in rural areas can rejoice and push a sigh of relief because broadband will be very soon, for them a reality. The World Bank which financed the plan was based on a simple observation: the internet is limited in the countries of Central Africa to capitals, leaving the rural populations to their sad fate.

By connecting these fibers, the Bretton Woods institution intends to relieve the international transit of data and greatly reduce the high cost of communication. With a loan of 28 million dollars, the World Bank will help Gabon to extend in a year its cable over a distance of 520 km.

Recall that the institution has already granted significant financial assistance for the deployment of 1,100 km of optical fiber drawn from the capital Libreville to the border of Congo Brazzaville for $ 60 million. Full deployment by China Communications Service International (CCSI) across the country to the Congolese border.

 

Lyda Gbadji

In Tanzania, Tigo launches 4G+

Goodbye to the Slow surfing and the long waiting to download or browse in Tanzania. Welcome to the new digital experience with the 4G+ of  Tigo Tanzania. The international telecommunications and media company Milicom International Cellular SA has officially launched his 4th generation plus network (4G+) last week. The new mobile technology which is going to add a value of change to tanzanians internet users.

The Tigo’s 4G+ is a faster network that reaches the speed of 120 Mbps per second which is twice the speed of the 4G. According to Jerome Albou the chief technical and information officer of Tigo Tanzania, this technology has increased the availability of a fast network for data customers in Tanzania. In fact during the launching ceremony of this network at Dar es Salaam, he said: « we are setting the pace among mobile service providers and catapulting technology to the highest heights of digital offering in the country ».

It is obvious that the Tigo Staff is aware of the high impact of this technology in Tanzania’s telecommunication history. Tarik Boudiaf, the Chief commercial officer of Telecoms company said: «  we are proud that with the launch of 4G+ network, our company has again put Tanzania on a global telecommunications map. We are now competing with the developed nations who are currently rolling out 5G technology ».

For the meantime, the 4G+ is present in only 5 towns: Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha, Moshi and Morogoro. It will be progressively enlarged to the remaining 22 towns which are already using the 4G.

Furthermore, Tigo Tanzania is expecting to attract new customers in order to become the first on telecoms mobile market which is a threat to Vodacom the current number one mobile operator in Tanzania.

The question is: is Vodacom going to take up the challenge or give way to Tigo ?

 

Photo  credit :Tigo

 

Lyda Gbadji

 

Cameroon: Buzigo startup wants to boost the informal sector through online commerce

With the rise to power of online sales, the informal sector is finding its benefits. In Cameroon, it is Buzigo startup of Martial Nodem, a young technological entrepreneur, which retains the assent of the public. It offers an online trading platform to merchants in the country. As a channel for the exchange of goods and services, Buzigo allows any trader to easily find buyers for his products, and consumers to locate merchants offering products / services of their choice.

Generally, most traders conduct their activities without first considering an analysis of the situation. « In Cameroon as in other countries in Africa, many people (young, old) in search of their daily bread are embarking on a commercial activity (clothing, jewelry, real estate, agriculture, fruit, etc…). The disadvantage of these businesses is that 95% of sellers, did not do a market research and do not control the needs of potential customers by pure ignorance. This leads to a slow growth (decrease) of their turnover », says Martial, Buzigo’s promoter.

Its platform overcomes the difficulties often encountered by merchants in selling their products. With features such as: advertising, SEO articles for sale, online payment channels, it offers merchants the opportunity to sell better to increase their income.

Given that some media like social media and networks are difficult to use, since they cause a waste of time and a huge financial cost for small businesses, Buzigo intends to change the situation by offering services adapted to the needs of its users, according to their financial availability.

Accessible in all the cities of Cameroon, it promotes several categories of offers namely: clothes, accessories, motorcycles, cars, household appliances, electronics, food, agricultural equipment and many others.

Buzigo also targets non-connected users through a search service of merchants or customers developed in partnership with the Orange mobile operator. They can find information and get in touch with customers or sellers from their mobile devices, via a messaging system for a fee of 50 CFA francs. A USSD code is used for this purpose.

 

Landry M.

Uganda will manufacture smartphones for Africa

Ugandan Ashish Thakkar starts making smartphones for African countries. After having loved and adopted smart phones from Asia, Europe and others, Africa is also planning to present its range of good quality and cheap.

Two smartphones called Mara X and Mara Z will enter the market by the second quarter of 2018, probably from next April. They will be « cheap, of good quality and very efficient » and designed to meet African needs.

These two phones will offer cream of creams of all that exists as the latest news from Google. The YouTube Go and Facebook Lite apps are sure to please these devices.

« At the moment, Africans have to choose between a quality phone and a phone they can afford. However, with access to the internet and some practical applications, a smartphone can create jobs and enable innovation. Beyond the creation and consumption of content, a smartphone can increase the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa, « said Ashish Thakkar.

The entrepreneur continues by giving the example of the dazzling success of mobile money. « Take a look at the adoption of mobile money in Africa and imagine the opportunity for this continent to progress through the use of mobile technology, » he added.

According to the World Association of Mobile Operators (GSMA) in its report « The Mobile Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa », said that mobile phones have generated an income of 110 billion in 2016, about 7.7 per cent of the subregion’s GDP.

 

Photo by Venture Africa

Ghana : Everyone needs 3G

The 3G connection will no longer be the privilege of certain targeted areas. Everyone will be able to access it, starting with the landlocked areas or poorly covered in mobile network. This was decided by the National Communications Authority (NCA) of Ghana. It will only remain for mobile operators to play their roles.

Joe Anokye, the CEO of the NCA, reassured that 3G technology will allow companies especially to be more efficient and benefit from attractive rates. « We will promote digital inclusion in Ghana. This will result in maximum use of the spectrum and an improved and consistent telecom experience that will reduce blackheads of 3G coverage, « he said. The deployment of the 3G network could cover large areas and thus allow a large number of consumers to remain connected.

With a population of about 26 million, Ghana has 6 telecom operators (all multinationals) who share the market. MTN (48.92%), Vodafone (21.86%), Tigo (14.35%), Airtel (12.54%), GLO (2.06%) and Expresso %).

 

Buses equipped with Wi-Fi

In Congo-Brazzaville,  Bolloré Group brought a revolution not least in the daily life of the inhabitants. For several months already the electric buses « Blue Congo » of Bolloré are equipped with free Wi-Fi. An innovative concept that dors note go unnoticed !

This is an answer to the problem of connectivity especially in these times where Internet users have trouble to disconnect. With their tickets of 150 XOF, passengers have the possibility of surfing free on the Internet. They are air-conditioned and contain only ten places. Public transport in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire has never been practical.

« I left my office for a break and I have not disconnected from my suppliers thanks to this free internet, in addition to good quality, as soon as I connected to the wifi network », entrusted a passenger to the newspaper Dépêches de Brazzaville.

Ecolos in addition, these cars are 100% electric. Otherwise, they contribute to the protection of the ozone layer and emit almost no engine noise.

A project that should inspire other countries.

Ivory Coast: MTN foundation offers 200 computers to 20 schools

 Digitization of the educational space in Africa is underway. MTN network, in that framework has offered 200 desktops computers and free internet connection to 20 private educational institutions. These beneficiary institutions were selected on the basis of their results last year (up to 70% success rate – at the end of 2016-2017 examinations).

All the beneficiaries have received 10 desktop computers in addition to free internet connection by committing to set up a multimedia room furnished and secured and to have staff qualified for its management. This donation from the MTN foundation based in Ivory Coast is in line with the « Génération numérique » program, which has so far enabled the development of a total of 138 establishments. The National Center for Scientific Materials in Cocody served as the setting for the delivery of computer equipment.

EKRA Eliane, representative of the president of the MTN Côte d’Ivoire Foundation, stated that the 20 schools each will benefit from 10 computers and free internet connection for a two-year period at a total of 72 million francs CFA. She hoped that these schools would use these tools « to assist the digital education of students who are the primary beneficiaries ».

The MTN Ivory Coast Foundation has as its battleground the installation of multimedia rooms connected to the Internet in order to contribute to the digital development in the Ivorian school. She is also involved in the training of multimedia room managers in schools. The objective is to accompany the policy of integration of Information and Communication Technologies in the education system, to form a « Generation Numérique » of young leaders acquired at NICT.

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